Do people really like being social? At Rosh Hashana services yesterday, the rabbi asked everyone in the congregation to take a few minutes to introduce themselves to the people in front of them, behind them, next to them, etc. This, was a way of getting people to open up, break the ice. It was a good exercise for me, personally, as I don’t get much of a chance to make small talk with my husband. That said, it was quite amazing how many people did not heed his call. Staring at their watches until the 2 minutes passed or hunkering down with their prayer books, half of the congregants were cringing at the idea of this “forced socializing.”
The 2 minutes did not come soon enough for these folks. Of course, there were others who wouldn’t stop talking even after 120 seconds passed. Makes me wonder: are the loquacious/seemingly extroverted folks the same ones who are engaging in social media online? Or is it the quiet/seemingly anti-social folks who are the ones more comfortable online chatting with strangers and espousing their views?
Have social media sites made people less friendly in person and more friendly online? To me, the scene was representative of the new Web 2.0: most people come to social media sites and soak in the information before them but don’t participate. And there’s the vocal minority who keep the conversation flowing and want to be heard. The more things change, the more they stay the same, when it comes to human nature.